Album Review: Arctic Monkeys – AM (Domino Records; 2013)

BY MICHAEL DEVLIN

So much of this album is Alex Turner and his crew ramping up the sleaze. The seedy lyrics sprawled over twelve tracks deal with a number of issues; namely sex, drunken lust, woozy frustration and sex again. And it’s utterly fantastic. Arguably the Monkeys have delivered the strongest album of their career.

“Do I Wanna Know” opens what is a truly terrific album, and its 70’s rock riff and grinding groove instantly make it a classic. “R U Mine” likewise has drums shattering and dirty guitars wailing all the while. The Josh Homme influence is apparent just as much as Turner’s recent affinity for 90’s hip hop. “No 1 Party Anthem” is a graceful hangover hit, while “One For The Road” is another fine account of drunken after-party antics that would strike a chord with many of the nation’s student population. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” is the albums masterpiece though; a masterful beat and pulsing G-funk guitar reveal Alex’s drunken booty call lyrics with pomp and confidence that was clearly evident at the bands famous Glasto set. Arabella, Knee Socks and closing track “I Wanna Be Yours” are all top notch tracks on an album that is sure to elevate Arctic Monkeys from sound of the moment to sound of the generation.

Lust drips from these songs, long gone are the ‘cuddles in the kitchen’ of an adolescent Turner. He and his band have matured sonically and lyrically, taking in a far wider range of influences and crafting them perfectly into an astonishing album.

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